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QEH support network for Indian nurses celebrates its first year

An organisation which helps Indian nurses to settle into new jobs at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital is celebrating its first anniversary.

Since its launch in March last year, the Indian Nurses in King’s Lynn (INK) Network has grown into a 180-strong team of nurses and clinical professionals.

The network was created to improve the welcoming process and pastoral care for Indian nurses joining the staff at the QEH after moving from India.

Some of the Indian members of staff at the QEH with Caroline Shaw, chief executive officer, and Julie Sherwood (second left) chair of the network (44930672)
Some of the Indian members of staff at the QEH with Caroline Shaw, chief executive officer, and Julie Sherwood (second left) chair of the network (44930672)

The network has already made great strides in giving tailored and personal support. This includes setting up communications before the new colleagues leave their home country, assisting with finding accommodation and, throughout the pandemic, providing welcome packages while they are in quarantine which contains familiar items.

It also supports nurses through the examination process by connecting new recruits with previous cohorts through a buddy system to help with exam preparation and academic support.

The network has also organised a counselling support system and mentoring to help recruits cope with the stresses of moving countries and the pressures of starting a new job.

INK is an important part of the Trust’s recruitment processes, by increasing retention of staff in the long term, helping colleagues settle into a new culture and job and helping to integrate them into the local community. The network also works closely with the British Indian Nursing Association and the Filipino Association of West Norfolk to support other international colleagues at Team QEH.

Caroline Shaw, chief executive officer at QEH said: “Our staff who travel from overseas are highly valued members of Team QEH; I am immensely proud of the diversity of our workforce at QEH and the way we come together to provide the highest standard of care for our local community. We know that travelling to a different country for work can be daunting, and its important that we take steps to ensure everybody feels welcomed and cared for when making the transition.

“A huge thank you to Samuel Jude and Julie Sherwood for getting the network off the ground and for making it such a successful first year.”

Anyone wanting to get in touch with the network please contact: Samuel Jude and Julie Sherwood, co-chairs of the INK network s.jude1@nhs.net and julie.sherwood@qehkl.nhs.uk

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